RE: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness

Subject: RE: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness
From: "Sarah Stegall" <sstegall -at- bivio -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 16:55:04 -0700

Amen to that, Gene. To some managers, a tech writer over forty who has
never been a manager spells "loser".

I don't like managing people. I'm no good at it. I like sitting in my
cubby working on documents, or interviewing my SMEs, or talking to
translators on the phone. I like the challenge of a new suite of
documents, or learning new tools (YAY). I even like meetings. But
hiring/firing people, mediating disputes, or managing a budget? No, no
and hell no.

So what's the career path for someone who found her comfort zone fifteen
years ago and now just wants to hone her skills/toolset? I'm not lazy by
any means, I just don't want to "move up", which usually translates as
"move into management". I've been forced into "lateral" moves, i.e.,
taking on some other role such as multimedia producer. I keep coming
back to tech writing because I like it. I'm good at it.

To enlarge this discussion, I think the perception that a career must be
always and forever "onward and upward" is a major flaw in American
managerial thinking. I know several engineers and programmers who would
prefer to quit and find another job rather than move into management.
They got into their field because they like doing engineering or
programming or whatever. To take them away from that and force them to
do jobs they aren't trained for, don't like, and aren't very good at is
stupid.

Sarah
Often wrong, but never in doubt

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Gene Kim-Eng
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 3:37 PM
To: TECHWR-L Writing
Subject: Re: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness

It probably varies with the position and level of responsibility.

I think there is a common perception that professionals should "advance
abd grow" as time passes, which results in people looking at an older
person in a non-senior individual contributor role and wondering "what's

wrong" with that person's ability and/or drive. The higher up the
seniority ladder you are and the more apparent it is that you have
achieved progressively higher levels of responsibility and expertise
over time, the older you can be before that perception begins to set in.

Gene Kim-Eng
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: job-hunt weirdness: From: Erik Hare
RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: Dana Worley
Re: job-hunt weirdness: From: Peter Neilson
Re: job-hunt weirdness: From: Dana Worley
RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: Sarah Stegall
RE: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: Leonard C. Porrello
Re: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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